Ely Cathedral is situated in Cambridgeshire city of England. Though started as a monastery, in 673 AD, the monastic church became a cathedral in the 12th
century. The structure has an amalgamation of various styles - the ancient Norman/Romanesque style of decoration, which has beautifully paved way to the early English and Gothic styles, with a touch of the Victorian fashion. The cathedral has also been featured in a couple of movies and books. Read on further to explore some more interesting and fun facts about Ely cathedral.
Interesting & Fun Facts About Ely Cathedral
- The complete name of Ely Cathedral is "The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely".
- Ely Cathedral is the primary church of Diocese of Ely, in Cambridgeshire city of England. It is also the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Ely.
- Locally, Ely Cathedral is known as the "Ship of the Fens", because of its prominent shape that towers above the surrounding flat and watery landscape.
- Saint Etheldreda founded Ely Cathedral in AD 673. The cathedral began as a monastery at that time.
- 'Ovin's stone', at the base of an 8th century cross - visible inside the cathedral, is the only surviving structure in the cathedral from the early Saxon period.
- The present cathedral dates back to 1083, when it was started by Abbot Simeon, under William I.
- Abbot Richard, Simeon's successor, continued building Ely Cathedral till the beginning of the 12th century.
- The design of the Octagon in the cathedral was given by Alan of Walsingham, when it was rebuilt.
- The main transepts, crossing the nave below a central tower, are the oldest existing part of the rebuilt cathedral.
- The total length of the Ely Cathedral is 537 feet, with the nave over 75 m long, the longest nave in Britain.
- The west tower of the cathedral is built in the Romanesque style and is 66m high. The tower was built between 1174 and 1197.
- The 'Lantern Tower' was constructed during the 1300s and replaced the old central tower. 'The Lantern' is 23 m in width and is 52 m in height. It is 43 m when measured from the floor to central roof.
- Ely Cathedral is planned in the shape of a cruciform or cross-shaped, with the altar being at the east end.
- The cathedral has been built from stone quarried from Barnack in Northamptonshire, with decorations in Purbeck Marble and local clunch.
- Ely has a cathedral choir which gained international attention because of its association with The Choirboys. Two of its members, Patrick Aspbury and CJ Porter-Thaw, are choristers at the cathedral.
- The cathedral features significantly on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1994 album 'The Division Bell'. It also features in a number of John Rutter's choral albums.
- Ely Cathedral has been directly referred to in 'Tom's Midnight Garden', a children's book by Philippa Pearce. A movie with the same title was released in 1999.
- The movie 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' was filmed at Ely Cathedral. In August 2007, filming for 'The Other Boleyn Girl' also took place at the cathedral.
- Parts of the novel 'Floodland', written by Marcus Sedgwick, have been written with the cathedral as the background.